Having grown up between several boatyards on the north shore of Massachusetts, I started working on and taking photos of boats as I entered my teens. I made enough money selling my photos to buy a good set of cameras, and in my early 20s moved to New York City where I lived for 16 years teaching photography and running a photography studio. When I returned to New England—first to Gloucester, Massachusetts, then to Kittery, Maine, Beals Island, and, finally, Rockland—I realized that the waterfront had changed dramatically. Fiberglass construction seemed to have supplanted traditional wooden boatbuilding. For the past few decades, I have made it my mission to document the harbors, boatbuilders, fishing families, and life of the working waterfront in northern New England, including shooting photos at almost every one of the Maine Lobster Boat Races for the past 19 years.
There is an exhibit of Sam Murfitt’s work on display at the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport until October 15, 2023.